Reviewer:Eva Vikstrom -
September 11, 2007 Subject:
I've completed my collection of "News Magazine of the Screen", because this is an excellent series and some items have been updated with files of higher resolution (Thanks!). The News Magazines deal with big news, interesting news, tiny news, sport, science, geography and American history. The picture quality is generally high. The big news of the period came from Korea, the Middle East, North Africa and Hungary. The news hightlights of this magazine is Truman's attempted assassination and the reelection of Trygve Lie as the Secretary-General of the UN. I will comment on three parts: the funeral of Sweden's King Gustav, the funeral of Al Jolson and the opening of the House of Commons after restoration.
Gustav V reigned from 1907 to 1950, during two world wars, like his collegues in Denmark and Norway. Before WW2 political and cultural influences came from Germany, the Heimat of Bismarck, Bach and Goethe. Gustav thought that Hitler had created law and order in Germany (his queen was a granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm). This wasn't an unusual view before 1944, and didn't really affect Swedish neutrality, which had it's price, like in the Cold War. The Royal Family of Denmark stayed in Copenhagen during Nazi occupation, while their Norwegian relatives and the government (including Trygve Lie) escaped to London. - King Gustav's casket is followed by the next generation of Scandinavian kings. First comes the new Swedish King, Gustav VI Adolf, his son and brother (Bertil and Vilhelm). Then we see Crown Prince Olav of Norway and the new King of Denmark, Frederik IX. Gustav Adolf's queen was a Mountbatten, but her Scandinavian collegues were Swedish princesses. The families would keep together, but only Sweden would keep neutrality. Now cultural influences came from the West, from Britain and U.S. - Replanning Britain, BBC, NATO, Hollywood, General Motors and Elvis Presley. The modern welfare states were built. Democratic collectivism inherited much from the old collectivism - the symbiosis of monarchy and a national church, but egalized and including the individual choice of religion. Monarchy changed to symbolic representation and some decades later, princes and princesses married commoners.
The same story is told from an other angle when the opening of the House of Commons is reported. It had been bombed in the Blitz and restored. King George VI is there, his queen and his successor, the young Crown Princess Elizabeth. Representatives of the colonies are there, and "Rule Britannia" is played while the Empire is falling violently. Still, parliamentary monarchy was born in Britain, and had survived. That's something to celebrate.
Between these reports Al Jolson is buried. We hear him sing "Swanee" with black paint in his face and serve as a soldier in Korea, now in the role of a white jewish man. The rituals of European monarchy are contrasted to the memory of slavery in the free America. It seems ironic today, but perhaps it wasn't to many people in 1950. I guess the Americans replaced Royalty, the national church and the strong state with religious equality, a divine authority and philantrophy. Welfare programs like the New Deal and the Great Society represent bridges between these worlds, the ambition to do something about the evils of both worlds. - That's what I've learned from studying 1930s America and Scandinavia for some time - but I may be wrong in some parts.
December 18, 2005 Subject:
Al Jolson tries to assassinate Truman!
The first segment is a pure bit of cinematic history.. Trumans attempted assassination! Never knew such a thing happened, but yes, fanatics from an extremist Puerto Rican party tried to do him in at his official residence (the Blair House (as the White House was being repaired) Eek! Crime scene photos! One of the assassins is dead! A Guard is dying.. Ack! We get to go to the hospital to visit one of the assassins who is wounded! Well, hi there! Tru was upstairs having a nap, but everyone afterwards congratulates him on his escape. Hmm, what happened to the attempted assassin?
Speaking of Puerto Rico, who were under US command at the time, was experiencing somewhat of a coup.. Its the same party that tried to assassinate Truman! They get around Anyways, their attempt fails at home too. We visit the ringleader in Jail1 Well, Hi there! After that, we get a gloss over at how wonderful their political and economic system is. Whoa it just KEEPS going. Alright already!
Finally, we go on to another topic.. The head of the U.N. is reelected for another 3
years! Yay! He gives a speech..
Next.. Swedens King Gustav V is dead and buried! People with funny hats come out to mourn.
Whoa!! Al Jolson died! Not that I didnt know, but this is amazing. We see his funeral! He just came back from Korea entertaining the troops there.. We see a tribute of his work1 Whoa!!! We see and hear Mammy!! Obviously, since the Jazz Singer is a WB movie, then they have the rights to show it.. Whoa! Swanee!!! Where was this taken from? Hmmm..
OK, after that incredible segment, more news segments.. Britains House of Commons re-opens! They were destroyed by the Nazis (never knew that), and countries donated different items to restore it to its glory! Canada donated a table! YAY! The king comes!! Theres Elizabeth as well! The Queen Mom! Woo! This is GREAT!
Next, where else to go BUT female trapshooters? YES! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! go the clay pigeons!
And THEN?? SEVEN YEAR OLD HORSE JUMPERS!!! Man, this volume is great! Oh god, that horse is clearly too big for her.
After that.. ATOM BOMB TESTS!! (clearly, newsreel people need better editors). This one happens at Eniwetok atoll! They blast 8 (!!) off, to test it against certain materials (sailors included)..
Oh, that was GREAT. This is a MUST SEE on this site!!
Assassination attempt on President Harry S. Truman.